Tennent Caledonian Breweries, the Scottish arm of InBev, is launching a premium lager, named Versa, in 500 bars across Scotland.
The company has no plans to launch the product in England.
Versa is a super-chilled continental-style lager that Tennent Caledonian says is based on the recipe for Tennent’s 1885 lager, which sells about 100,000 barrels a year, according to a spokesman. However, the alcohol by volume (ABV) has been cut from 5% to 4.5%, “to fit in with Scottish drinkers’ preferences and our commitment to responsible drinking,” the spokesman adds.
Tennent’s Lager, which is Scotland’s biggest selling beer brand, is 4.1% ABV.
Versa is the brewer’s first product launch for some years, and will be backed by a &£750,000 marketing budget, through Scottish agency Newhaven, in the second half of 2006.
It is aimed at “discerning 25-plus consumers who are looking for something new”, according to Tennent’s marketing controller for Scotland Kirsty Hunter. She adds: “The lager market has taken some criticism of late for failing to innovate.”
In addition to Tennent’s Lager, the Tennent’s portfolio includes Tennent’s Super (9% ABV); Tennent’s Ember (4.2% ABV); Tennent’s Extra Lager (4.5% ABV); Tennent’s Light Ale (3.1% ABV); Tennent’s Special (3.5% ABV); Tennent’s Velvet Ale (3.5% ABV); Tennent’s Stout (Export) (5.0% ABV); and Tennent’s 1885 Lager (Export) (5% ABV).